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Interviews

Slaven's Blackburn pre-match press conference

31 August 2019

Slaven Bilić has spoken to the media ahead of his side’s final Sky Bet Championship fixture before the September international break.

Albion host Blackburn Rovers at The Hawthorns (ko 3pm) as they look to make it an unbeaten first month of the season and continue their positive start to the Croatian’s tenure.

The gaffer talked about a range of subjects in his pre-match press conference, including Matt Phillips’ new deal, how the team is shaping up for Saturday and his hopes of claiming a maiden three points at home - and you can watch it above on WBA TV.

Slaven on Matt Phillips’ new deal…

“It’s great news. He’s signed for this season and then another two years, to 2022. It shows that he’s happy here… It’s a good place to be and we are delighted. We didn’t have to convince him with plans or whatever. It’s always good to keep the major players at the Club.

“He’s played in every game. Very rarely does he miss a session. He’s a great pro - he’s in early, he looks after himself and he stays after training. He’s a great asset on the pitch, he can change the game not only with a cross but also with his energy.

“Matty is a Premier League player, he was there and he’s done it there. He’s a great age as well. There’s nothing negative about it, it’s all positive.”

On team news…

“It (the squad) looks okay, but we do have a slight problem.

“It’s a left-back situation. Kieran Gibbs got injured at Derby, it’s an old injury that he’s had with his groin. It’s nothing major but it’s big enough to rule him out for a few weeks.

“And Conor Townsend also felt something. It’s a matter of days. He’s the guy that didn’t miss one game last season, he was available for every game. If the game was in a couple of days time then he would be okay, but unfortunately it isn’t.

“But we have Chris Brunt, who is a major player and Club captain. I spoke to him and he played left-back in the Premier League. He has a great cross, a great left foot, so we are okay."

On wanting his first home win…

“We all want it, of course. We are playing good but we want to win at home. Nothing is easy in this league, or in any league to be fair. We are confident, we respect the opponent.

“We are confident because we are playing good. In both of those home games we were the side with more possession, more chances and more shots. We need to convert those chances and we need a little bit of luck. We are looking forward to the game tomorrow.”


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